25 years after Mavic launched its pioneering downhill wheel set, the French brand is saying hello to yellow again.
Throughout the ’90s and ’00s, if you were a DH fan, you had to have a pair of yellow Mavic Deemax wheels on your bike. Not only were these ridden by the fastest racers in the world, including Nico Vouilloz, Greg Minnaar, and Shaun Palmer, but they brought tubeless tyre technology to the masses and came with a build quality that could withstand the birth of freeride.
For its 25th anniversary, Mavic is bringing back the yellow Deemax in a limited edition that will stir the emotions of anyone who loves digging out old Grundig race runs on YouTube and firing up the VHS player to watch episodes of Sprung.
While the original rim brought tubeless UST technology to the mainstream, the 2024 model builds on this pioneering technology, with a wider internal channel to make tyre installation easier, thick hooked sidewalls to help reduce pinch flats and improve impact resistance, and a more pronounced triangular cross-section to better absorb heavy landings. Unlike most of Mavic’s wheels, the Deemax doesn’t use the FORE construction with a sealed rim bed and special spoke nipples that thread directly into the rim. Instead they use standard nipples, reinforced eyelets and tubeless rim tape.
The rim gets a 30mm internal width in both 29in and 27.5in sizes, so you can run a full 29er or a mullet/MX set-up. Hub and drivetrain compatibility includes 20x110mm, 20 or 15mmx 110mm, 12x142mm, 12x148mm, 12x157mm and HG, XD and Microspline freehub bodies.
Spokes are 28 front and rear, laced three cross with bladed, double butted spokes, onto large diameter flanged hubs. The wheels pass ATSM 5, which is the highest rating designed for gravity use and DH racing, while there’s a 150kg max system weight. And while we won’t know how they perform in the real world until we get our hands on them, we tested the French brand’s E-Deemax S wheels on an e-bike recently and rated them highly.
Claimed weight for the wheel set is 2.02kg and Mavic has priced it at a reasonable €699. Expect to see the wheels in action next year at the UCI World Cup.